|Fog-filled North Fork canyon, January 17, 2004|
[Russell Towle's journal]
“1/17/79 day after day of rain, but only .75" in the gauge, and none falling at the moment ~ fog plays in the canyon and the river's roar has subsided. 18.5 inches since the 8th. and the snow line was over 7000' for most of that, although it dropped to 6000' yesterday.”
[Russell Towle's journal]
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2003 08:40:10 -0800
To: North_Fork_Trails Email Group
From: Russell Towle
Subject: Visit to Green Valley
Yesterday my son Greg [age 9] played hooky from school and joined Ron Gould, Catherine O'Riley, and me for a visit to Green Valley. We started down the trail around ten in the morning. The day was bright and clear and warm.
|Ron Gould (playing Dueling Photographers with Russ),|
Greg Towle, and Catherine O'Riley.
|Ron Gould's opposite viewpoint. (Click photos to enlarge.)|
We followed the old mule trail down [labeled Green Valley Trail off Moody Ridge Rd. in map below] by which the miners were supplied, at first from Illinoistown, later from Dutch Flat. At around 2650' in elevation we left our packs by the trail and struck off into Ginseng Ravine to visit the Miner's Cave, in a low cliff of serpentine agglomerate. Then another round of walking took us past the fork, where the East and West trails diverge; we took the East Trail, and dropped our packs once again, at the ditch of the Green Valley Blue Gravel Mine. This ditch took from the North Fork American, about a mile upstream from Euchre Bar, and crossed the river on a high flume, in the gorge between Green Valley on the west, and Euchre Bar on the east. We explored west along the ditch, crossing Ginseng Ravine, where at that point the ditch becomes a part of the Low West Trail. We entered the edge of the sunny forested flats where the Low West and High West trails converge, gazed around a little, and then returned to the East Trail.
|Grayscale version of the Green Valley Trails map made by Russell Towle, January 2008.|
Click to enlarge.
|"Pool of the White Rocks," east end of Green Valley|
Continuing east, we visited an old marijuana grower's camp with an abundance of garbage scattered on steep slopes below the camp. Then the trail becomes more tenuous and we soon were forced down to river level, on a broad gravel bar. A few steps took us to Uncle Karl's Camp, where my friends Bernie & Harriett Denton spent their summers, as children, from about 1935 to 1945.
We were aiming for a certain cliff of limestone crossed by the ditch, where a small bench had been blasted out long ago, to support a wooden flume. However, to get there some awkward spots must be passed, with steep drops, and we had two dogs with us. So we turned around just short of our goal, and started back out.
I intended to take the High East Trail but had trouble finding it. When I did find it, it was too overgrown to follow, anyway. It's been a matter of ten years, perhaps, since I used the High East Trail in that part of Green Valley.
At any rate, the brush gradually forced us down into mining pits where we picked up the Low East Trail, and we retraced our steps up and out of the beautiful canyon, as the sun set, watching the shadows change, and the moon so close to the full, and for the last ten or twenty minutes of the climb out, the moonlight was stronger than the ebbing twilight, and our moon-shadows flickered along beside us.
|A sprawling Canyon Live Oak|
Click to enlarge
It was a very very lovely day in Green Valley.